Dear Aunt Marina,
My how time flies. It doesn’t seem a week since I was looking backwards at the past year, and now here we are in 2010.
Thank you so much for your kind gift, yet again, of a whimsical calendar. I’d barely time to admire the fat December robin before I was gazing at January’s corpulent cat. I think time is speeding up. Racing ahead at 22.6 knots, to be specific.
I think I’m finally getting the hang of this email lark. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve taken on board what you said about grabbing life by the scruff of the neck.
I told myself life’s too short to keep holidaying in Mablethorpe. I bet you’ll never guess what I’ve done.
Before you tell me your news, have I got a surprise for you. You know I said I’d do something big in 2010? Well things don’t come much bigger than this.
I thought I’d really push the boat out so I’ve only gone and booked myself a holiday on the Oasis of the Seas. The biggest cruise liner in the world.
Have you really.
I know emails should be short but your last one seemed a teensy bit terse.
How can I describe this floating palace in terms you’d understand? Well, it’s more than double the height of the Isle of Wight ferry and it would be an outright insult to compare it to the pedalo you hired at Cleethorpes for my fifth birthday.
This testimony to creative cruising is ginormous and divided into seven districts. It’s like a city on the ocean. You’ve never seen anything like it.
There’s a whole shopping street – you’d like that – an art gallery, the biggest swimming pool on the seven seas, a huge carousel and oodles of restaurants. You name it and the chances are this baby’s got it.
And a lot of foliage to hide behind, no doubt.
It’s funny you should say that. As I write, I’m looking out on the ship’s Central Park which has real trees and shrubs and enough exotic plants to keep Alan Titchmarsh occupied for a year.
The most amazing thing is that it can house well over 5,000 passengers, so what’s the chance of my meeting someone I know? Must be high.
I’m going to have a good wander round and see if I can spot any familiar faces. I bet there’s at least one person here who knows me.
Please don’t. I mean, I really wouldn’t waste your precious holiday time on such a futile endeavour.
You may have a point. Right now there’s a lot of excitement because we’re about to dock in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. That’s in the Caribbean you know, Auntie.
Actually, it’s Philipsburg, St Maarten, also in the Caribbean. St Thomas was yesterday. You never were any good at geography.
For a landlubber you seem to know an awful lot about this cruise. I’ve been thinking that perhaps you ought to take a holiday afloat too but perhaps not on a liner of this magnitude.
I know you’ve always felt more at home in small harbours, Marina.
Might I suggest hopping on board one of the ships in the Holland America line, which are perhaps a third or even a quarter the size of the Big O. They have quite an intimate feel about them and with a high staff-to-guest ratio the standard of service is excellent.
Or, if you’re looking for an even more intimate approach to cruising you might like to try Silverseas Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises whose ships are even smaller and take the whole cruising experience to a new level of luxury and quality.
Actually I quite fancied bigging it up this year but I wanted it to be MY adventure. I hadn’t planned on taking the extended family along.
Not sure what you mean by that Auntie, but talking of the family, I’ve just had the weirdest experience. I’ve got a view to die for all the way across Central Park to the other side of the ship. I can see a woman in a cabin on the other side who looks exactly like you.
I’ll just wave. Oh, she’s drawn the blind down. Must be tired.
By the way Auntie when I return from my cruise, we must meet up. Have you got a day in mind?
Sorry I haven’t a free window in my schedule. Places to visit. People to see. They don’t call me Auntie Social for nothing.
Yours faithfully, M Beckett (Miss)
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